Territory

Wonders of the Auckland Islands

Landscape in the western part of Auckland Island
Landscape in the western part of Auckland Island / Lawrie Mead & T. Nicklin, Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.

WorldBlue  Highlights

Auckland Islands (part of New Zealand) are characterised by dramatic scenery – high cliffs, rough sea, rough weather. Lush, unique vegetation of these Sub-antarctic islands comes as a pleasant suprise to visitors, not less interesting are the numerous curious, fearless birds.

Here are located some of the southernmost forests in this region of globe – mostly consisting of southern rata Metrosideros umbellata trees flowering with beautiful red flowers. Forests are up to 9 m high and inside the fiords the foliage of trees often reaches sea level thus resembling the scenery of tropical islands.

Islands are seldom visited by tourists – tourist trips here are very expensive. The number of visitors is restricted by nature conservation rules and most visitors see just Enderby Island.

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 10 wonders of the Auckland Islands

Geological wonders

Adams Island basaltic cliffs

More than 365 m tall vertical basaltic cliffs, mostly on the western coast of Adams Island. For the most part, the weather here is rainy and as a result, there form waterfalls falling over these cliffs. Strong winds often divert the falls back, upwards.

Southern tip of Enderby island

Steep cliffs formed by basaltic columns. Here have formed especially interesting caves.

Auckland Island basalt cliffs

More than 365 m tall vertical basalt cliffs, mostly on the western coast. For the most part, the weather here is rainy and as a result, there form waterfalls falling over these cliffs. Strong winds often divert the falls back, upwards.

Giant’s Archway, Auckland Island

Impressive natural arch in the central part of Auckland Island, 460 m above the sea level.

Waterfall in Waterfall inlet

A good source of drinking water for the teams of small vessels. Waterfall inlet is adorned with dense rata forest with foliage up to the sea level.

Biological wonders

Southern rata forest of Auckland

The southernmost forest in this part of the globe (after Campbell Islands) mostly consisting of southern rata (Metrosideros umbellata) trees flowering with beautiful red flowers. Forests are up to 9 m high and inside the fiords, the foliage of trees often reaches sea level thus resembling the scenery of tropical islands.

Megaherb meadows of southern Enderby Island

These meadows represent a stunning sight during the bloom. Meadows with countless Ross lilies (Bulbinella rossii) seem to stretch up to the horizon.

Megaherb meadow in Enderby Island
Carnley Harbour grotto

An interesting cave that is told to have a phosphorescent glow on the walls.

Archaeological wonders

Polynesian settlement in Sandy Bay, Enderby Island

The only archaeological monument in the Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic region. Here was found Polynesian earth oven with bones of sea lions, birds. Nearby were found flakes of chert and basalt. Polynesians settled here around 1350 AD and lived for at least one year here – but possibly for a longer time period.

Historical wonders

Grotto in the western coast of the Auckland Island

Monument of tragic historical events. In this enormous grotto in 1866 sank the ship “General Grant”. The ship was drifted some 75 m inside an enormous grotto. As the water level rose, the mast hit the ceiling of the cave and forced a hole through the hull. 26 people drowned here. The wreck had a cargo with gold – reportedly no gold is found thus far.

Wreck of ship "General Grant", May 14, 1866

WorldYellow Recommended books

Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World


Auckland Island is a godforsaken place in the middle of the Southern Ocean, 285 miles south of New Zealand. With year-round freezing rain and howling winds, it is one of the most forbidding places in the world. To be shipwrecked there means almost certain death…

Subantarctic New Zealand: A Rare Heritage


There are five groups of rugged islands south of mainland New Zealand, which are remote from each other and from the mainland. They are uninhabited by humans but havens for remarkable life forms. Managed by Doc, these national nature reserves are a unique region, and their remarkable history and natural history are captivatingly treated in this book with full-color photographs.


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